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- Veterans in Private Sector: Making the Transition
Shows & Panels
Monday - Friday, 6-9 a.m.
Hosts Tom Temin and Emily Kopp bring you the latest news affecting the federal community each weekday morning, featuring interviews with top government executives and contractors. Listen live from 6 to 9 a.m. or download archived interviews on our daily show blogs.
Thursday federal headlines - June 13, 2013
Thursday - 6/13/2013, 9:08am EDT
- Washington, D.C., area federal agencies are open today. But, with
forecasters predicting flash floods, non-emergency employees have the option of
working from home. The Office of Personnel Management says you can take
unscheduled leave or unscheduled telework with your supervisor's approval.
Emergency employees should report to work as usual. A flash flood watch is in
effect for parts of Maryland, Virginia and the District through 8 p.m. (Federal
- The Veterans Affairs Department is claiming progress in the war against its
own backlog of disability claims. NextGov reports, VA has reduced the number of pending claims
by 74,000 since March. That's according to Thomas Murphy, director of the VA
Compensation and Pension Services. He told the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee,
he thinks the department can reach its goal of processing all claims by the end of
2015. Right now, VA's in-basket has more than 850,000 claims. Two-thirds of those
are more than 125-days old. (NextGov)
- The more federal agencies try to consolidate data centers, the more centers
they seem to discover. Federal Times reports, that's the gist of what the Government
Accountability Office told a Senate panel. Dave Powner, GAO's director of IT
management, said the latest inventory shows agencies operate 6,000 data centers.
That's twice what they thought they had three years ago at the launch of the
consolidation initiative. Powner said the Defense and Agriculture departments in
particular keep finding data centers. Under criteria set by the Office of
Management and Budget, a computer or switch room as small as 500 square feet
counts as a data center. (Federal Times)
- The White House is still taking applications for the Presidential Rank
Awards. But it has suspended the hefty bonuses that go with them. An
administration official says it's not sensible to hand out tens of thousands of
dollars in bonuses when budgets are tight. On Monday, the Office of Personnel
Management notified agencies that the nomination period would be extended until
this Friday. OPM Acting Director Elaine Kaplan said participation has been low.
She speculated that may be because would-be nominators suspected the bonuses would
be gone. Awardees get up to 35 percent of their pay in bonuses. (Federal News
- The director of the National Security Agency came out swinging in
congressional hearings over electronic surveillance. Army General Keith Alexander
told senators the surveillance has helped the government stop dozens of terrorist
attacks. Two of the data-gathering programs were made public by a leaker working
for contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. FBI director Robert Mueller has his turn today.
He'll testify before the House Judiciary Committee about the Boston Marathon
bombings and the Benghazi diplomatic attack. It may be Mueller's final Capitol
Hill appearance as director. He's set to retire Sept. 4 after 12 years on the job.
(Federal News Radio)
- New CIA Director John Brennan has hired a member of his inner circle to be his
number-two at the agency. White House lawyer Avril Haines will replace CIA Deputy Director
Michael Morell when he retires in August. Haines will be the first woman to hold
the post. She is now the deputy counsel to the president and legal adviser to the
National Security Council. In that capacity, she worked closely with Brennan, who
served as the president's counterterrorism adviser, until he left for the CIA.
Morell will join the President's Intelligence Advisory Board, a group of mostly
retired intelligence officers. (Federal News Radio)
- The Drug Enforcement Administration owes female special agents back pay and
promotions. The Federal Times
reports the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says gender discrimination is
rampant at the DEA. The EEOC's recent ruling is part of a long-running class
action lawsuit brought by female special agents who sought assignments abroad.
Between 100 to 250 women are eligible for the back pay and compensatory damages of
up to $300,000 each. The women applied for the assignments between 1990 and 1992.
- Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton is in Delaware today to announce his agents have seized a long- lost Nazi diary. It's the diary of Adolf Hitler's friend Alfred Rosenberg. Rosenberg helped plan the Nazi take-over of Europe, and the killing of millions of Jews in the Holocaust. ICE has a homeland security investigations team dedicated to recovering smuggled artifacts. Past captures have included paintings, manuscripts and an Egyptian sarcophagus. (ICE)